Ole Miss heads to College Baseball Showdown: Everything You Need to Know While You’re in Arlington
Here’s everything you need to know about Globe Life Field and where to go for food and fun in Arlington.
ARLINGTON, Texas — If you’re headed to the State Farm College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know about the stadium and where to go for food and fun.
But first, let’s look at the game times and opponents. After a schedule change due to the winter weather in Texas, the tournament was moved to a Saturday-Sunday-Monday format.
Ole Miss begins Saturday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m. against No. 10 TCU. On Sunday, the Rebels play No. 3 Texas Tech at 3:00 p.m. and conclude Monday with a 3:00 p.m. matchup against No. 9 Texas. The complete schedule is as follows:
2021 STATE FARM COLLEGE BASEBALL SHOWDOWN REVISED SCHEDULE
Saturday, February 20
11:00 a.m.—Mississippi State vs. Texas
3:00 p.m.—Mississippi vs. TCU
7:00 p.m.—Arkansas vs. Texas Tech
Sunday, February 21
11:00 a.m.—TCU vs. Mississippi State
3:00 p.m.—Texas Tech vs. Mississippi
7:00 p.m.—Texas vs. Arkansas
Monday, February 22
11:00 a.m.—Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech
2:30 p.m.—Mississippi vs. Texas
6:00 p.m.—Arkansas vs. TCU
(Home team listed second)
Globe Life Field is located at 734 Stadium Drive in Arlington — pretty much equidistant between downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth. The stadium opened for the 2020 Major League Baseball season and has already hosted the 2020 National League Championship Series and Major League Baseball World Series.
The new stadium is located due south of the old stadium the Texas Rangers used from 1994 – 2019, and it is right next to the Texas Live! entertainment venue and adjacent to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys (and where Ole Miss won the 2010 Cotton Bowl).
With a retractable roof, the comparisons to Houston’s Minute Maid Park are natural. Unfortunately, like most modern ballparks where there’s a spot for an advertisement, there will be an ad. Ballparkratings.com went so far as to say, “Globe Life Field is the first new MLB venue in recent history whose predecessor is almost universally considered more aesthetically attractive.” Ouch.
From a playing stand point, the outfield wall is 329 ft. to left, 372 ft. to left center, a big 407 ft. to straight away center, 374 ft. to right center and 326 ft. down the line in right.
The outfield wall measures 8 feet tall all the way around the field, with the exception of the home and away bullpens where it dips to 6 feet. During last year’s MLB season and post-season, this allowed for some amazing defensive plays at the wall to rob hitters of would-be home runs.
The playing surface is artificial turf and the scoreboard in right center measures 111 feet wide by 40 feet tall.
Entertainment in the Area
Pretty much anything and everything you could imagine doing, given we are still in a pandemic, is available close by.
Let’s start right next door to the stadium at Texas Live! (https://texas-live.com/) Like the saying goes, “everything’s bigger in Texas,” and this place is no exception.
Home to eight different eateries and eight different bars, Texas Live! is a great place to visit pre-game or post-game for a snack, full-meal, or beverage of your choosing.
Where to Eat
A personal favorite of mine in Arlington is Hurtado BBQ (https://hurtadobbq.com/).
Located in downtown Arlington, just minutes away from the stadium, this recent addition to Texas BBQ is here to stay. What started out as a food truck now has a brick and mortar location that is just under a year old. Hurtado offers traditional Texas BBQ with a twist known as Mexique.
My personal favorite is the brisket. With perfect bark, the tender meat just seems to melt in your mouth. Everything here is delicious and truly you can’t go wrong.
I suggest you journey to Hurtado for lunch or you risk the dreaded “SOLD OUT OF . . .” sign. All good BBQ joints in Texas run out daily as freshness and quality are what the customer expects.
If you are interested in a “sampler” platter, you can try the El Jefe, described as “the boss of all barbecue platters” with 1/3 lb each of prime brisket, pork spare ribs, sausage, pork belly burnt ends, pulled pork, turkey breast and two sides of your choice, or the Texas Trinity.
Be sure to let the staff know it’s your first time and they will happily make suggestions and, perhaps if you’re lucky, offer you a small sample to whet your appetite.
J. Gilligan’s Bar and Grill
Another Arlington favorite is J. Gilligan’s Bar and Grill (http://www.jgilligans.com/).
J. Gilligan’s has been around forever and has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Their claim to fame is the “World Famous Irish Nachos.”
Irish Nachos can be ordered in the full or half size, with or without a side of hamburger meat or grilled chicken, and includes natural cut cottage fries with skins topped with melted cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños. Some people enjoy them with sour cream, but I prefer them with ketchup.
Texas BBQ is kind of my thing, so I’d like to provide an option if you are staying on the east side or west side of the metroplex. Over in Dallas, my favorite is Pecan Lodge (https://pecanlodge.com/).
What started out as a stand in the Dallas Farmer’s Market, which I found my way to many a Sunday after church, (I even got to ring the bell as the first customer in line a few times to signal “open for business”) has given way to a location in Deep Ellum in Dallas on the corner of Main and Pryor Streets.
The brisket is mouthwatering. A favorite of my wife’s is the “Hot Mess” – a jumbo sea salt-crusted sweet potato, South Texas barbacoa (shredded brisket with southwestern seasoning), chipotle cream, cheese, butter and green onions. Great choice if you’re over in Dallas!
Pecan Lodge has been ranked by Texas Monthly as one of the Top 4 BBQ joints in the world, and it’s the place I rank all other BBQ places against as I ask the question: “Where does it fit in against Pecan Lodge”?
With multiple locations in Fort Worth, Heim BBQ (https://heimbbq.com/) is an excellent stop.
Built out of a food truck that had two to three-hour long lines, Heim now has two locations in Fort Worth, one on West Magnolia and the other “River” location that is perfect for outdoor dining —especially at night while enjoying a frosty beverage from the bar.
Perfectly seasoned brisket and ribs, wonderful sausage and great sauce are what I enjoy at Heim. The “go-to” here is the Bacon Burnt Ends. Think of a sweet piece of pork belly that tastes oh-so-good. If they have them, get them, and you won’t be disappointed.
Check it out if you’re over in Fort Worth!
Kenner’s Kolache Bakery
If you’re in Arlington at breakfast time, my “go to” spot is Kenner’s Kolache Bakery (https://kennerkolachebakery.com/index.html). No donuts here, just fruit flavored kolaches, meat kolaches, and cinnamon rolls. My personal favorite is the spicy jalapeno roll where the sweetness of the bread cuts the spiciness of the jalapeno sausage inside.
While not a coffee drinker myself, I know many people who enjoy Inclusion Coffee at 101 E Abram Street and 403 East Main Street, both in Arlington.
If you are more of a Starbucks person, Arlington has at least 16 Starbucks locations so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one. Maybe Dunkin’ Donuts is more your game from a coffee prospective, and Arlington has two of those, with the closest one located at 4935 S Cooper St, about 20 minutes from Globe Life Park.
Other entertainment areas in Arlington include Champions Park (https://champpark.com/) located a few miles north of the stadium with favorites like Torchy’s Tacos, BurgerFi, Social House, or if you’re looking for a healthier option, Salata.
In south Arlington, there is the Highlands (https://arlingtonhighlands.com/directory/category) with 29 different dining options, ranging in budgets from fast food to fine dining.
Hope you have a great time in Arlington, enjoy the first #DougDay of the season, and GO REBELS!
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)